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Thread: Shoddy Electrical work

  1. #1
    DIY Member davesnothome's Avatar
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    Default Shoddy Electrical work

    I just bought an old century home in Ontario, Canada. The previous owner upgraded the wiring to a 100 amp service from the old knob and tube. Here is my question...In Canada you have a property disclosure form that must be filled out by the seller asking about any work done without a permit. The Sellers stated the only work done without permit was the deck. Now after me being in this house for 3 months, I have come to find some work that for sure is not done with permit. Under the counter and behind the kitchen drawers where the inspector never looked there is holes punched in the walls, wires dangling routed across the floor behind cabinets, there is also Aluminum wiring still in some ciruits, even after they diclosed it was all copper. I can tell by looking at this it is totally illegal and for sure done by the previous owner without a permit. My queston....what is my recourse and could I take action against the previous owner for not disclosing this? What would you do?? Im not happy my home inspector never informed me of this.....but I guess thats because it was hidden.

  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Do you know that they were aware of this or could it have been done before they bought the house...and they were unaware...

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    You will have to prove that they did the work...you can't just know they did it...

    You will have to get a lawyer...

    Home inspectors can't see in walls or behind things...holes can be hidden by furniture...if it is something obvious thats different...
    Last edited by Cass; 11-04-2009 at 05:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I'd suck it up. Especially in a house that old.

    My 50 year old house had things the inspector missed.

    It goes with the territory.

    Next time, we should both buy new houses.

  5. #5
    DIY Member pensfan84's Avatar
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    Same here - 80% of my house is knob and tube, and all on one single circuit. Home inspector missed it by a mile.

    Which is why I'm in the process of a whole house rewire...

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member ghetterly's Avatar
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    Home inspectors in Canada are not required to be certified in anything. Any idiot (and I would suggest most fall into this category, at least where I live) can be a home inspector.

    You have found this out first hand.

    Home inspectors have no liability whatsoever. Their "service" is a straight scam.

    Your PCDS is nearly worthless and not worth pursuing.

    Move forward and fix the previous owners handy-work. Get to know your local inspectors, they are your friends.

  7. #7

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    The home inspectors in the states are no better. There are probably some good ones out there, but I haven't met one.

    Personally I'd just suck it up and fix it unless you feel it will be a slam dunk case for you in court.

    -rick

  8. #8

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    It is possible that there were other owners prior to the previous owners. So the previous owners may not have known about this.

    And electrical inspectors do not have the time to inspect everything. So it is possible work was inspected, but the inspector did not inspect that portion of the work.

    And it is possible that the previous owners did do this work without a permit.

    I suppose the first place to start would be to research what permits were applied for in the past and what that work was for.

    If there was only one previous owner and that owner purchased the house when new, then that would point to them. However, they could have hired someone to do the work and that person may have told them he got a permit.

    I suppose you could research the past permits, then determine no permit was applied for with the work done in question, then just say you have found work which was done without a permit (don't say who did it), and make a claim against the previous owners to pay for correcting the problem. That would be a lawyer thing though.

    Also might want to research the law. What does the law say about this? What can a person do when uninspected work is found? And case history. What have other people done when they have found uninspected work done in their homes?

  9. #9
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Is the wire date stamped?
    Even that is not 100% accurate as I re-use older wire at times
    HI can't find everything

    Taking action would probably cost more then fixing it
    And you could very well lose
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  10. #10
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghetterly View Post
    Home inspectors have no liability whatsoever. Their "service" is a straight scam..
    The inspector for our furnace never went in the crawl space. We had to call him back out after the guy who installed our tankless noticed we didn't get a double lined flue. They just shoved a smaller pipe inside the existing flue.

  11. #11
    DIY Member davesnothome's Avatar
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    Cost me $400 for the home inspection, I guess that was a waste...even though they highly promote a home inspection for your own protection. I guess I should look for a part time home inspection carreer!! a, bit of a cash cow you might say. I also have found that my rear wood flashing (I guess thats a name for it ) that the evestrough fastens to is completely rotted out and the eves are ready to fall off...also the cement around the stone foundation is falling out in several places. Ahhh boyyyyy...stuff that you can even see was missed. He did show me where to replace my furnace filter....DUH. Someone should be held accountable. My home inspector lists the following qualifications...CHECK IT OUT !!!!

    http://www.trademasterhomeinspection.com/

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member ghetterly's Avatar
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    Forgive me for sounding presumptuous but...

    I think the best thing for you to do is hold YOURSELF accountable. Caveat emptor.

    Become your own home inspector. Read up on all aspects of home construction and maintenance. Then you can do your inspection yourself and sleep easy knowing it was done right.

    After you build up a knowledge base, you can easily spot things that "don't look right." That's where forums like this come in handy. Google is your friend.

    Greg.

    P.S. - The wood that your eaves-troughs are fastened to is called a "fascia" and the "cement" that is falling off is probably just parging.

  13. #13
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghetterly View Post
    Become your own home inspector. Read up on all aspects of home construction and maintenance. Then you can do your inspection yourself and sleep easy knowing it was done right.

    I will when I buy my next rental. I've followed plenty around and will use their report as a guide. Because of my job, I have a knack for finding things that are wrong anyways...

    Jason

  14. #14

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    what is my recourse and could I take action against the previous owner for not disclosing this?

    Uhhh....that's a legal question.

    I/we can tell you if wiring was done "aftermarket" but no one here can tell you what recourse you may have.

  15. #15
    DIY Member davesnothome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghetterly View Post
    Forgive me for sounding presumptuous but...

    I think the best thing for you to do is hold YOURSELF accountable. Caveat emptor.

    Become your own home inspector. Read up on all aspects of home construction and maintenance. Then you can do your inspection yourself and sleep easy knowing it was done right.

    After you build up a knowledge base, you can easily spot things that "don't look right." That's where forums like this come in handy. Google is your friend.

    Greg.

    P.S. - The wood that your eaves-troughs are fastened to is called a "fascia" and the "cement" that is falling off is probably just parging.
    I did find alot of things myself and I new I would require some repairs, but I figured someone with the qualifications of my Inspector as I listed above here....would have the ability to pick out stuff better, more of a trained eye would,nt you think??? Having doing this for a living, you would think the guy would spot this stuff. I think I spotted more than he did. The foundation work I could see him maybe missing...as I missed that too. But this guy missed alot that I since have been able to spot around the house. Lesson Learned though....on my behalf!!!

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